This is so cool: With water, powder, foam and chemicals, there are already many means of dousing a flame, so it may be hard to imagine what sense it makes to add a new one. But putting out a blaze usually leaves behind a big mess — chemical residue in every cranny, or gushing water […]
Very cool: Physicists in the US have created metal surfaces that repel water to the extent that droplets bounce away. They sculpted the surface of small pieces of platinum, titanium and brass using a very high-powered laser. The materials “self-clean” because water droplets gather dust particles before they slide away. If it can be scaled […]
This is SUCH excellent news. From the BBC: The decades-long drought in antibiotic discovery could be over after a breakthrough by US scientists. Their novel method for growing bacteria has yielded 25 new antibiotics, with one deemed “very promising”. The last new class of antibiotics to make it to clinic was discovered nearly three decades […]
From the BBC: Cyphochilus beetles are whiter than paper or any artificial material produced so far. But researchers are only now starting to fully explain the beetles’ trick. Understanding the physical mechanisms could allow manufacturers to produce whiter paper, plastics and paints.
Take a look!
From The Atlantic – an absolutely fascinating article. Jaroslav Flegr is no kook. And yet, for years, he suspected his mind had been taken over by parasites that had invaded his brain. So the prolific biologist took his science-fiction hunch into the lab. What he’s now discovering will startle you. Could tiny organisms carried by […]
…an optical telescope could ever do THIS?? This technology will allow the telescope to capture 15 times more light than any other optical telescope and it will create images that are 16 times sharper than even the Hubble Space Telescope, which orbits high above the Earth. Dr Verma said: “This telescope will be so powerful […]
From the BBC: British scientists have successfully revived mosses that have been frozen under the Antarctic ice for 1,500 years. The researchers thawed out the ancient vegetation and were surprised to see new shoots rapidly appear. While bacteria of a similar age have been recovered before, the scientists say these are the oldest plants to be […]
Welcome back to life! An ancient virus has “come back to life” after lying dormant for at least 30,000 years, scientists say. It was found frozen in a deep layer of the Siberian permafrost, but after it thawed it became infectious once again.
See what they have to say to Bill Nye, the Science Guy.
Fascinating: The animals were trained to fear a smell similar to cherry blossom. The team at the Emory University School of Medicine, in the US, then looked at what was happening inside the sperm. They showed a section of DNA responsible for sensitivity to the cherry blossom scent was made more active in the mice’s […]
From the BBC: The nanopatch overcomes some of the more obvious disadvantages of syringe-given vaccines such as needle phobia and the possibility of contamination caused by dirty needles. But there are other reasons why the method could be transformative, said the professor. Thousands of tiny projections in the patch release the vaccine, which is applied […]
And God said, “Let there be light.” But in the early universe, it could not be seen. When the universe was young, before the formation of stars and planets, it was denser, much hotter, and filled with a uniform glow from a white-hot fog of hydrogen plasma. As the universe expanded, both the plasma and the […]
“Lake Baikal in eastern Siberia is the oldest freshwater lake on Earth, and one of the largest and deepest, containing around one-fifth of the world’s freshwater. In winter, it freezes over, and these beautiful transparent, turquoise masses of broken ice appear momentarily in March, caused by the unequal structure, temperature and pressure in the main […]
It may not be THE hot science, but it’s definitely a hot, hot field. And it’s been fascinating to see all the new materials that scientists are developing. A new type of flexible ultra-thin glass has been unveiled by the firm that developed Gorilla Glass, currently used to make screens of many mobile devices. Dubbed […]
Read more at the BBC: The virus used in the research was an M13 bacteriophage, which attacks bacteria but is benign to humans. The Berkeley team used genetic engineering techniques to add four negatively charged molecules to one end of the corkscrew-shaped proteins that coat the virus. These additional molecules increased the charge difference between […]
Again, from the BBC: Scientists in Russia have grown plants from fruit stored away in permafrost by squirrels over 30,000 years ago. The Institute of Cell Biophysics team raised plants of Silene stenophylla – of the campion family – from the fruit. Writing in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), they note this […]
Super cool: Yup – that stuff on top of the dandelion? That’s metal. The substance is made out of tiny hollow metallic tubes arranged into a micro-lattice – a criss-crossing diagonal pattern with small open spaces between the tubes. The researchers say the material is 100 times lighter than Styrofoam and has “extraordinarily high energy […]
From the BBC: Europe’s highest court has ruled that stem cells from human embryos cannot be patented, in a case that could have major implications for medicine. Scientists say the Court of Justice decision may impede European research into the use of stem cell therapies, or drive research abroad. The ruling follows a challenge by […]
Absolutely fascinating: Imagine being attacked by one of your own hands, which repeatedly tries to slap and punch you. Or you go into a shop and when you try to turn right, one of your legs decides it wants to go left, leaving you walking round in circles. Last summer I met 55-year-old Karen Byrne […]